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Penang made Products

Souvenir shopping? These homegrown brands put generic key chains to shame.

Written by
Shahril Bahrom

It’s difficult not to admire the handiwork that goes into Amee Philips’s jewelry collection. Apart from being bling-worthy, they’re attention-seeking – in a good way. Owner and designer Amee Philips was a gemstone buyer for several years before delving into the world of jewelry design.

The career leap has earned collaboration with Malaysian fashion designer Zang Toi as he showcased her jewelry alongside his Spring 2012 collection in New York Fashion Week. Back home, this true blue Penangite owns an exclusive jewelry store in George Town. Browse displays and you can still spot her old love for gem stones through the ‘Collector’s Gemstones’ series.

If you’re all about one-off handmade pieces, there are plenty of sophisticated designs from the ‘Phoenix Collection’ or for the globe trotter, a necklace from the ‘Conquerer’ that is styled with a jade globe as a pendant.

Jonathan Yun hails from Penang and specialises in fine metals. His creativity illustrates well on silver and Jonathan is fascinated by the feel of soft patina. Often, you’ll find him bent over, working on a new piece at his studio where all of his jewelry are self-sculpted in wax, casted out in sterling silver and polished for smooth finish.

His finest pieces are from the Coral Ocean, Vintage and Eden collections, each inspired by the underwater, Straits Chinese lifestyle and nature respectively. Our favourite is the kerongsang, a traditional brooch worn by the Nyonyas to fasten together a beautiful kebaya.

In true Jonathan Yun-styled twist, his Ibu Kerongsang shaped into a pendant, is worn with a stringray leather choker. For a more delicate piece, try the Anak Kerongsang earrings for a touch of sparkle.

George Town by Josh Lee

This green liquid within a wooden-capped bottle was made available in August 2012. Trained by a French perfumery school, ISIPCA, Josh Lee debuted a fragrance inspired by good ol’ George Town. Capturing the soul of our heritage city in a bottle is no mean feat but a whiff of the fragrance proves that it is almost possible.

Suitable for both sexes, the scent represents layers of ingredients such as citrus, bergamot and green tea, together with a bouquet of rose and hibiscus as well as nutmeg and cinnamon for a hint of spice. You can pick up this EDT fragrance from major shopping malls, local attractions, hotels and airport. For specific location, check out their website. Bear in mind that Josh Lee pledged a stand against animal testing and the use of animal ingredients in his products.

While OE Fine Jewellery may not have an ounce of Penang in its roots (they’re a German jewellery company), the latest charm bracelet they designed proves that we’re very close to their hearts. Called the Penang Heritage Charms, it is made of sterling silver 925 that is favoured for its grey matte finish. The bracelet comes with a set of seven charms (sold separately) inspired by the heritage and landmarks of Penang. The variety includes Cheong Fatt Tze mansion, traditional oil lamp, kopitiam chair, trishaw, the Penang bridge, ferry and our personal favourite, the Nyonya kebaya. (


Tiffany Choong’s obsession for handbags is real, which sparked the birth of Bulan Lifestyle, an eco-friendly brand with a mantra that speaks about ‘setting your spirits free’. Bulan Lifestyle currently has two bag collections to its name.

The limited edition canvas totes called ‘Bulan’ has its own set of child-like themes like Arthur the Artichoke, Priscilla the Praying Mantis and My Little Peony from the Nyonya Collection that comes with its own tales and inspirations. Like, the ‘Britannia’ series that celebrates the 2012 London Olympics and the Queens Diamond Jubilee.

If you have the time, check out ‘Matahari’ that consists of eco story bags that aren’t only screen printed for detailed stencil effect but also durable and foldable. There are plenty of items to browse from her online store. So throw in a melamine plate, apron, mugs and cups, cushion as well as note books into your shopping cart.

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